Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll –OK It’s 2014

CamMy wrap up of 2013 can be found HERE 

Here is an alphabet of thoughts for the New Year.

Arsenal. Could this be the year for my boys? As the calendar turned they were still top of the table and alive in Champions League and the FA Cup. It has been eight years without a trophy but they are winning games that they shouldn’t and keeping their composure when put in difficult positions. Arsene Wenger is now the premiere manager in English football and the lads are believing in his system and playing his game. #COYG

Books. Read a grand total of 40 last year and have just started number three for the New Year. There are a few great picks in Doug’s column earlier this week and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the Johnny Carson book.

CD’s. This was the first Christmas since their introduction that a CD was not exchanged by anyone in my family this year. It seems like only yesterday I was replacing my vinyl collection with compact discs. This year it was iTunes cards that made the stockings.

Toronto FCDefoe. What a great score for Toronto FC. Seems like MLSE head honcho Tim Leiweke is serious about his football club. With English striker Jermaine Defoe, US mainstay Michael Bradley, hot shot Brazil youngster Gilberto and Canadian legend Dwayne De Rosario all suiting up for the Reds this spring it is a sure thing TFC will finally make the playoffs.

Employment. Sure being freelance has its advantages but nothing says security (and rent and food) like a paycheck every two weeks. With everyone using free interns it is getting tougher and tougher on the old and experienced.

Facebook. Handy for some things but for the most part it is wearing out its welcome. How many Top 100 lists do we have to look at and who really cares about cats. By this time next year I can’t imagine checking it more than once a week.

GrantlandGrantland. I would much rather spend time on this site reading painfully well written stories about pop culture and sports. It has become what Rolling Stone magazine was in the

Hockey. What the hell happened to the game I grew up on? When I was about six I could name every player on every team by position and number. I would be hard pressed to name every team in the league today. Overtime during the regular season? Shoot outs? Goons? Forget it. I will always love my Leafs but this is not the game I remember.

Indie 88.1. A breath of fresh air on the Toronto radio waves. A decent first rating books and the on-air talent is starting to feel a little more comfortable. They need to keep their focus, be careful not to burn out their gold and take a few more chances with new Huno Awardmusic. Great start and I hope they keep it going.

Juno awards. It is off to Winnipeg this year and then back to Hamilton in 2015. Nominations will be coming out shortly. As always I am sure it will be an interesting list of nominees and will cause lots of chatter within the music industry and hopefully the buying public.

Kiss. As predicted in my column last fall ( Kiss are to be inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. Yes I was a huge fan and even saw them open for the New York Dolls at Massey Hall. Gene and Paul better do the right thing and allow Ace and Peter to be a part of the festivities.

In the DarkLights out. That was an interesting holiday season. We were lucky as our power never went out but others in the family were not so lucky. My mom was out for five days in the Beach and Dad was out for six at Bayview and Eglinton. Most power was back on by Christmas and the family dinner was saved. Hats off to all the hydro workers and first responders who worked their asses off in very bad weather (and with some pretty bitter clients).

Movies. As the NXNE Film Programmer I see a lot of movies but trips to the cinema to see the latest releases is becoming increasingly rare. It’s damn expensive, the 30 odd minutes of commercials, games and way too revealing previews have taken away from the experience. I am much happier watching an 80 hour series such as The Sopranos or Breaking Bad on my own terms. I would rather wait a few months and order what I need to see from our rather brilliant library system in Toronto. It’s the new, free Blockbusters.

NXNE 2014Nxne. It is going to be a monster this year. The Film Festival will kick things off on June 13th and the festival will wrap up on June 22nd. It promises to be longer and stronger, Keep tabs on all the announcements at

Over Qualified. I hate that term. If I am applying for a job I am offended when you come back to me and say I am over qualified. I know that. If I didn’t need the work I would not be applying. Would it not be better to hire someone with the qualifications who is not looking for a quick trip up the corporate ladder than someone who is looking to add a company name and position to add to their resume?

Sunshine on LeithProclaimers. It was great to spend some time last year with my old friends Craig and Charlie Reid and their manager Kenny MacDonald. I got to see them perform a couple of times and was honoured to sit with them at the world premiere of the film “Sunshine on Leith” at TIFF last September. The film did boffo box office in the U.K. but to the best of my knowledge still does not have a deal for North America. This is a great film that deserves wider exposure.

Quality Records. This was the Canadian independent label that I cut my teeth on in the seventies and early eighties. Last year I was interview by fellow DBAWIS columnist Doug Thompson about my days at the label for the documentary “Pressed in Canada”. It has been running on the HiFi network and I am hoping to view a copy soon.

RBC – For the second year in a row my son has written one of the most talked about commercials which aired during the World Junior Hockey Championships. This year’s spot was “First Time in Net – Thomas’ Story”. Here’s the extended version

Stop Making SenseStop Making Sense – One of the greatest concert movies ever filmed. A perfect between Talking Heads and film maker Jonathan Dame. NXNE is co-presenting the film at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Saturday January 25th at 9.30 PM. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen. Come by ay 8 PM as Moe Berg will be spinning tunes and you can enjoy a Steam Whistle tall boy. We will also be showing a short music video from The Fast Romantics.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers. What the hell has happened to the half time show at The Superbowl? What’s wrong with a good marching band and some football commentary? The show, will aging stars (RHCP) and new stars (Bruno Mars) has become an embarrassment. So much hype for twelve minutes of fireworks, bad dancers and truncated versions of songs. I’ll be on the patio having a smoke.

University. I never had the desire to go and, after one year of community college, was hired into the record industry. Both of my kids were afforded the opportunity and I am very proud that my daughter (a private banker) has found the time and inclination to finish off her degree.

Vince GilliganVince Gilligan. Hats off to the creator of “Breaking Bad” for such a wonderful journey. Who knew a comic actor from “Malcolm in the Middle” (Bryan Cranston) and a bit player from “Big Love” (Aaron Paul) could develop such dark and deep characters. Loved the ending and the music placement from Thomas Golubic was note perfect. Hope it helped Badfinger.

Winter. Stop complaining. It’s Canada, it should be cold and snowy. Winter makes the spring wonderful. It was lovely to have a white Christmas. Forget rock’n’roll, I wish I had a rock salt franchise this year.

XPrime. The official house band of “The Bobcast”. I have only really seen them do covers (which they do brilliantly) and will be very curious to hear their upcoming album of original material. Good luck lads.

Young. I still feel young even though my next birthday in June will be my Sammy Hagar speeding celebration. When I was a kid 50 was ancient, 65 was gray hair and canes and 80 was the nursing home. Now I hang out with “seniors” who still rock their Chuck Taylors and 80 year old lawn bowlers who can kick my ass and then proceed to Cam and Jeebusdrink me under the table. It’s a whole new world.

Zero. The amount all of us at DBAWIS are paid to entertain, and occasionally, enlighten you. If you see any of us in a bar please don’t be afraid to say hello and buy us a beer.


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and Bovine. There are heaters on the Bovine patio and great bands downstairs at the legendary rock bar. Fill up next store at The Rock Lobster and then get your rocks off at The Bovine.

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DBAWIS_ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.


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